TALE OF THE TAPE

College Football Week 11: Arizona State At #21 Southern Cal

Arizona State
#21 Southern Cal
Coaching
Todd Graham’s team was looking good against Oregon State for much of the first half but allowed 26 straight points and lost 36-26. A win could keep them in the Pac-12 South hunt.
Winner It was determined a student-manager deflated the football before several kickoffs against Oregon last week; he’s since been fired and USC has been fined. Lane Kiffin says he had no knowledge of the incident.
Offense
The Sun Devils were just 3 of 17 on third down last week as the offense struggled throughout the night.
Winner The Trojans posted 615 yards and 51 points last week. Typically those numbers are not outdone by the opponent. Oregon is not a typical opponent. Quarterback Matt Barkley needs to keep feeding Heisman candidate wideout Marqise Lee.
Defense
Winner The Sun Devils are 16th in yards per play allowed but have given up an average of 41 points over the past three games. That trend doesn’t bode well for the matchup with USC.
The reason USC’s gaudy offensive numbers last week weren’t enough was because the defense gave up 730 yards, the most in school history. Kiffin is now saying he is considering playing Lee on defense.
Special Teams
ASU recorded a safety on a blocked punt last week. But in general this season, its special teams play has been average.
Winner Kudos to USC for at least attempting an onside kick against Oregon, though it probably should have tried a few more. All season long, thanks to Lee and Woods, USC’s punt and kick returns have been stellar.

The Winner Is

Winner #21 Southern Cal
3 out of 4

USC is clearly not the team most thought it was in the preseason. But the Trojans still have enough firepower to get past a mediocre Arizona State team.

Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor

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